Happy New Year 2013 to all readers of GourmetEstorie! The year of 2012 has passed and a new beginning is ahead of us. Let us all take this time to resolute ourselves to our goals and personal aspirations for ourselves and the betterment of society all around. As we proceed, let us also not forget the memories that have made up who we are today. In this New Year article special, I present to you some of the memorable pictures and tantalizing treats that has made the pages of GourmetEstorie. Once again, I wish all a delightful, prosperous and joyful New Year =D
I started off 2012 with the splendours of buffet from 10 @ Claymore to the Lunar New Year delicacies from Crystal Jade. The colour Red bode especially well this month with the spirit and warmth shining through in many places. Kudos to the chefs from both restaurants for starting the year with a bang in vibrancy and deep, resonating hues.
February moved in really quickly and before I knew it I had the delights of engaging with some of the finest cuisine at Michelin star restaurant Jean Georges. It was my first trip to the United States, and I had to try something before leaving. After all I did take a 16 hour flight there. Boy was I glad. Back home, it was warmth of dining with close friends at one of our favourite buffet joints, Himawari.
In March, I made a visit to Guy Savoy and experienced for the first time the wonders of nouvelle French cuisine. It was a thoughtful performance throughout, from start to the very goodbye. At Si Chuan Dou Hua, I had the pleasure of sampling some of the best roasted suckling pig. Finish the meal off with some Homemade beancurd with wolfberry, and the month is well complete on a sweet delightful note.
April saw me trying out the Japanese cuisine crafted by Seki’s former Executive Chef Dawn Pau. It was a real discovery, and his gregarious nature while behind the counter simply made the dining experience all the more entertaining. The Japanese culinary experience is then made complete when my friend Brian introduced me to Yayoiken. Their heartwarming and very generous meal sets are simply to good to be missed. Free flow rice for those who order, and yes their rice is very good.
May was pretty short for me but it led to an inspiring discovery with Indonesian cuisine from the former Rumah Rasa restaurant. I still remember Chef Sharifah’s Paru Goreng Belado for its exquisite nutty taste and spicy sweet chilli topping. Delish. It was also the month of seafood at Plaza Brasserie where guests for dinner had the choice of ordering the assortment of shellfish cooked in their style of fancy. Talk about a feast for the senses!
June, where summer beckons and Singapore is summer all year round. I rediscovered Japanese cuisine at Fukuichi with a portion of the excellent and rich tasting Kani Tofu. It was marvelous and I simply had to recreate the dish at home. At Marina Bay Sands, Osteria Mozza entertained guests every Sundaay with a Bellini Brunch. The ever popular Soft Scrambled Eggs makes the top of my list for its rich colours, warm and earthy tastes contrasted lightly with the deep salinity of the sea.
The closest I got to authentic Peranakan cuisine as whipped up by my Nonya grandma comes from Daisy’s Dream Kitchen. The month of July was warm and satisfying for me as it reminded me strongly of my Peranakan roots. Dishes like Buah Keluak are made with pork ribs here and their Sotong Black is so heavily accentuated with tamarind that it leaves the tastebuds with the kick for the next bite. The breaking of fast for the year’s Ramadan was introduce in style with Middle Eastern delicacies from StraitsKitchen at the Grand Hyatt. I enjoyed the Hummus there, and it was the finest yet!
The highlights for August came from the Steakhouse Wooloomooloo and Mondays in Provence from db Bistro Moderne. I enjoyed the 150 day grain fed prime rib eye, well appreciated for its layer of fat and the sprinkle of slat over the top to bring out the flavours. In the same month, Chef Daniel of db Bistro Modenre featured cuisine from southern France to Singapore. The feature for me was the Ratatouille de Legumes & Panisse for its combinatory flavours of ocean deepness in lasting umami sweetness.
September was the month of sweets! I found a delectable Country Style Granola served with yogurt that really made my brunch set for the day. It was crunchy, chewy, sweet, tangy, and all the more satisfying with the chilled yogurt ladled throughout. A dish deserving of the cafe’s name Fine Palate. It was also the Mooncake festival and I featured some of the finest mooncakes from the Grand Hyatt. Heard of the Black Sesame Yuzu Truffle with gold dust? Mooncakes are getting exciting!
October was the month for Restaurant Week. I visited Skyve Elementary Bistro and Bar with my friends. Indulge in the seared foie gras for a marvelous earthy and fatty scent that simply melts on the tongue. Over at the Pan Pacific Singapore, Keyaki unveiled a 20kg yellowfin tuna freshly carved for its guests. Fresh tuna all around! The best part? Simple yet exquisite deep fried tuna. Trust me, you’ve never had tuna that good.
November was an extremely quiet month for me as I sat for my examinations. But I was lucky to chance upon SUN Japanese dining. There I discovered the Kinmedai & Mentai Chazuke. Light tasting flavours with carefully seared sliced snapper and the wonders of bitter clear green tea pour over the rice. It was a dish that brought flavours and joy to my heart.
As the year drew to a close, it ended off with a very sweet note with both Christmas celebrations and a new entry into my return lists. I celebrated Christmas and my mum’s birthday at Shangri-La after 3 years. It was a revitalising visit to my memories of a Christmas legend. The visit to Chillax Cafe in Serangoon Gardens Estate just a few days back epitomized what well crafted flavourful cuisine can be like in all its homely environment. I’ll definitely go back with my friends for some of its fantastic Wagyu Rosti and Portobello fries. Delish!
As some of you may know, I just returned from a study trip to India slightly before Christmas. It was a wonderful journey and I learnt plenty about their culture, politics, workings, and worldviews. My two weeks there were too short but it was a good introduction. Look out for an upcoming article about India in the week to come =D